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USA vs. Belgium at Soldier Field

Public viewing of the USA vs. Belgium match at Soldier Field

Public viewing of the USA vs. Belgium match at Soldier Field

On July 1, I had the opportunity to attend a public viewing of the USA vs. Belgium match at Soldier Field in Chicago. The match was part of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and was an elimination match. Since this was a must-win match for the USA, the atmosphere inside the stadium was tremendous. The Chicago Tribune reported that over 25,000 people attended the public viewing! Kim Belware of the Huffington Post also reported that an average of 16,491,000 watched the match on ESPN and Univision, which makes it the second most-viewed men’s soccer match of all-time.

I had an awesome experience watching the match with 25,000 of my “closest friends.” Everyone was so friendly, and I met some fantastic people! It was great to talk with people who enjoy soccer as much as I do. During the match, the mood was rather tense. But people still managed to have a good time!

Ultimately, the USA ended up losing to Belgium by a score of 2-1 which knocked them out of the World Cup. However, the TV ratings and attendance at public viewings across the country show that the popularity of soccer is on the rise. There’s something about the World Cup that makes Americans more excited about soccer. I think that we, as Americans, love being patriotic and showing that we love our country. What better way is there to show how much you love your country than by getting decked out in red, white, and blue and watching a bunch of American players take on the rest of the world?

My friend and I before the start of the match

My friend and I before the start of the match

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/soccer/chi-world-cup-soldier-field-20140701,0,2285814.story

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/02/usa-belgium-ratings_n_5552957.html

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Godzilla: A Film Review

 

For this blog post, I have chosen to review the most recent movie that I have seen in theaters. Godzilla was released in the United States on May 16 and has grossed over $191.5M so far (Rotten Tomatoes). Having been originated in Japan, this marks the second time that Hollywood has taken a crack at making a Godzilla film. With a big budget and tremendous special effects, Godzilla makes an excellent “summer blockbuster” film. (Don’t worry, I won’t give any spoilers!)

As a big fan of “summer blockbuster” movies, I was very impressed with Godzilla. Usually, films of this kind lack an engaging plot line; however, Godzilla keeps the viewer on the edge of their seat from beginning to end. In the film, there is a clear message that you can observe throughout the film. That message is about family. The main character, Ford Brody, travels all the way to Japan to bail his father out of jail. He also cares deeply about his wife and son, so he is willing to do whatever it takes to protect them. I’d also like to say that the special effects in this film are extraordinary! The Godzilla monster is truly unique, and the action scenes are just plain awesome! I think Christy Lemire was spot on when she said, “The Godzilla of this “Godzilla” is a classically fearsome monster with his hulking size and piercing roar, but he’s also an irresistible bad-ass who becomes an unlikely hero of sorts.” For ultimate viewing pleasure, I would recommend seeing the movie in IMAX 3D.

Overall, I was really impressed with Godzilla. It provides everything that a “summer blockbuster” film is supposed to, plus more. I think this film will appeal mostly to younger audiences, but it can still be enjoyed by the entire family.

 

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/godzilla_2014/

http://christylemire.com/godzilla/

 

 

 

2014 World Cup: Will Brazil be ready?

Every four years, 32 nations from across the globe compete in the world’s most prestigious soccer tournament. The FIFA World Cup. Hosting this tournament is a tremendous honor that is usually only bestowed up developed nations. With Brazil set to host the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup, there have been numerous concerns regarding the preparedness of stadiums.

Richard Conway, a sports news correspondent for the BBC, reports that FIFA, the governing body of soccer, is concerned about the readiness of three stadiums. The stadium in Sao Paulo, which is set to host the opening match between Brazil and Croatia, was recently deemed unfit to hold all 65,000 spectators. Instead, the stadium will only be able to hold about 40,000 fans. A construction worker in Sao Paulo was quoted by the Los Angeles Times, “The stadium is marvelous, but it’s not even finished! And that’s completely unacceptable.” The International Business Times also reports that there are concerns about the country’s airports and how they will be able to handle the estimated 3.7 million people set to travel to Brazil for the World Cup.

I personally feel that FIFA made a mistake in choosing Brazil as the host nation for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. While Brazil has a rich soccer culture, they do not have the necessary infrastructure to properly host a World Cup. Failure to complete stadiums is absolutely unacceptable. Brazil was awarded the rights to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup in 2007. They have had over seven years to prepare for this World Cup and it’s coming down to the wire. As a fan, this upsets me. The World Cup will be the most watched sporting event of the year, and the concerns about Brazil’s ability to host just takes away from the game. With the first match of the World Cup set to be played on June 12, I really hope Brazil can pull this one off.

http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/27632572

http://www.ibtimes.com/world-cup-2014-host-brazil-ready-kickoff-1593875

http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-brazil-world-cup-stadium-20140601-story.html